The New International Encyclopædia/Dais

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DA′IS (Fr., canopy). This term was used with considerable latitude by mediæval writers. Its most usual significations are the following: (1) A canopy over an altar, shrine, font, throne, stall, chair, statue, or the like. The term was applied to the canopy without regard to the materials of which it was composed, which might be cloth, wood, stone, metal, or other substance. (2) The chief seat at the high table in a hall, with the canopy which covered it, from which probably the word in all its significations was introduced, its French meaning being a canopy. (3) The high table itself. (4) The raised portion of the floor, or estrade, on which the high table stood, and by which the upper was divided from the lower portion of the hall. (5) A cloth of state for covering a throne or table. In old writings the word occasionally takes the form of dois, and more rarely that of dez or detz.